Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid
Betancourt, who was held hostage by leftist rebels for more than six
years, has filed for divorce from her husband, the Colombian magazine
Semana reported Sunday.
Betancourt wants a divorce from publicist
Juan Carlos Lecompte and reportedly argued that they had been ‘bodily
separated’ for more than six years, well beyond the two years that are
required by Colombian law as sufficient cause for divorce.
Semana noted that Lecompte’s lawyers rejected the demand and argued
that such a separation was not voluntary, but was forced by the
kidnapping of the former presidential candidate – who has both
Colombian and French citizenship – by the leftist Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Moreover, the man’s lawyers argued
that Lecompte himself is set to file for divorce, based on reports that
Betancourt was unfaithful to him during her captivity. As evidence,
they cite the book Out Of Captivity, written by US contractors Thomas
Howes, Keith Stansell and Marc Gonsalves, who were held by FARC at the
same time as Betancourt.
The three defence contractors said
in the book that the former presidential candidate was in a
relationship with fellow-hostage Luis Eladio Perez, a former senator,
who was released by FARC just over a year ago.
the most high-profile hostage ever held by FARC – was kidnapped on
February 23, 2002, and she was freed in a Colombian Army operation on
July 2, 2008 along with the three US contractors and 11 Colombian
military and police officers who were also being held hostage by FARC.
Lecompte recently told a Bogota daily that he felt ‘let down’ by his
wife’s attitude once she was released, because she immediately
distanced herself from him. (DPA)